New club works for social justice

Catholic Relief Services ambassador explains program

THE AQUINAS PHOTO / EMMA BLACK CAROLINE EARNEST is a member of the new chapter of Catholic Relief Services at The University. The group will host social action and awareness projects.

THE AQUINAS PHOTO / EMMA BLACK
CAROLINE EARNEST is a member of the new chapter of Catholic Relief Services at The University. The group will host social action and awareness projects.

CAROLINE EARNEST
Faith Contributor

Anyone who went to a Catholic grade school probably remembers getting little boxes during Lent that they were supposed to fill with change as part of a rice bowl program. There are only two things I really remember from this time: the homeroom that could raise the most money won some kind of prize and bragging rights for the year, and that the boxes came from Catholic Relief Services.

CRS is involved in a lot of programs outside of rice bowls and homeroom competitions. Its main goal is to promote human development and global solidarity. An important part of this mission is raising awareness about social justice issues, especially through colleges’ and universities’ campuses.

CRS has started a new program called the CRS Student Ambassador Program, which The University is taking part in. The goal of the program is to engage students in a global dialogue about some of the most pressing issues faced today.

This program is driven by its members so that the issues it deals with are those the students feel passionate about. Students decide what is important to talk about and how to best educate people about those issues.

Because it is sponsored by CRS, there are a multitude of resources that cater to the issues students are passionate about, and give them the power to spearhead campus-wide change through education about local and global social injustices.

There have already been some events from CRS on Scranton’s campus, such as the poverty simulation, as well as many upcoming projects, such as the Ignatian Family Teach-in Nov. 15-16, and an interactive, life-sized timeline tracing back the origins of ISIS, followed by a speaker.

CRS offers regional training sessions frequently and Scranton CRS ambassadors have attended two of these trainings during the past two years. Last year, Marywood University hosted the training, and this year it was at Villanova University. Six students attended the training Saturday. The students who receive training at these locations are expected to deliver it to other students on their campus who were not able to attend. Students at the training are provided with resources for event planning and getting CRS started on campus.

The CRS student ambassadors program challenges students to find things they are passionate about and provides the opportunity to do something about it. It brings like-minded, driven students together to try and improve the future.

If you are passionate about social justice issues and would like to work with others to educate and raise awareness, it is not too late to become an ambassador.

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